Usain Bolt has reiterated his commitment to Jamaica despite recent reports that he was defrauded of billions of dollars in his investment account with a local firm, Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL).
The sprint legend has been out of the public eye since reports earlier this month that his $12.7 million portfolio of stocks, cash and other investments disappeared.
Bolt addressed the issue only with cryptic posts, addressing Jamaicans on Friday, who expressed their disgust and outrage at the fraudulent scheme that has engulfed dozens and possibly countless others.
Speaking at the launch of the 2023 Gibson Relay, where Bolt himself began his career as a school athlete, the former Olympian-turned-music producer said despite some happenings to his retirement fund changes, but he remains committed to Jamaica.
“I just want to say to Jamaica, no matter what happens now, Jamaica is my country and that will never change,” Bolt stressed.
“I will always love my country, and no matter what happens, I will do everything in my power to revive it,” he murmured in the room.
There have been questions about Usain Bolt’s missing money. Sprint Legend has given SSL and its directors until today (January 27) to return his lost funds. It was unclear whether the company responded to Bolt’s legal request.
Earlier this week, the Financial Services Commission blocked the company’s attempt to seek a winding-up order declaring SSL bankrupt. Meanwhile, more evidence from the police investigation has surfaced showing that Jean Panton, a wealth manager at embattled Bolt’s offshore firm Welljen, conducted several transactions with other insider accounts. The wealth manager signed millions in stocks and bonds that belonged to Bolt. Police are investigating whether instructions in the email from a former employee of Bolt’s were legitimate or were tampered with by Panton.
Panton previously listed 39 people she stole from, none of whom were Bolt.
Usain Bolt Says He Fired Former Operations Manager, and It Wasn’t Kind
Meanwhile, amid mounting concerns over Bolt’s lost funds and the Jamaican government’s attempt to save face after reports failed to properly regulate SSL, Bolt told reporters to clarify that the former employee featured in the news report was actually his. Former operations manager Norman Peart, who was fired last month. Bolt mattered as he pushed back against Peart’s claim that he and Bolt broke up on good terms.
“He got sacked, that’s pretty much what I’m going to say … shouldn’t say too much, it’s not kind, he was sacked on a jumper,” Bolt said.
Bolt also said he won’t let the situation bother him as he focuses on his family, which now includes three children and his fiancée Cassie Bennett.
“I try to focus on my family and I try not to think too much about it,” Bolt said.
Bolt also told reporters he was as “baffled” as the public when asked what he thought of the investigation.
“It’s a sad thing for anyone to lose something they’ve worked so hard for. It’s a sad situation and it’s absolutely disappointing,” Bolt said.
Usain Bolt Says He’s Not Broke
Bolt also addressed fans who feared he would be penniless or potentially bankrupt due to the loss.
“No, I’m not broke,” Bolt said with a laugh when asked if he was broke. “But it definitely casts a shadow over the future, everyone knows I have three kids and I’m still taking care of my parents.”
As for the next legal steps, Bolt said he gave the company 10 days and now he is waiting to hear from the company.
As of the date of this report, Jamaica police have not identified any charges or suspects of fraud. Jean Panton is still at large and it was recently reported that she is assisting the investigation.